The Movie Diorama
It's sad to say, in my opinion, this was a misfire from Ang Lee. He is one of my favourite directors when it comes to metaphorical storytelling. So it's a real shame that this had none of that and instead was a boring pointless war drama. Billy Lynn returns home with the rest of his squad after a courageous attempt at rescuing a fallen comrade in war. Now made famous, him and his team look for support by his seemingly patriotic country. But really what it comes down to is money. Film rights, headlines, halftime shows...just people exploiting heroism for greed. Aside from that aspect, everything about this narrative has been told before and far better executed. Technically, Ang Lee's masterful touch enhances the psychological perspective of Billy Lynn. The heightened frame rate, direct address to the camera, muting background noise. We view the story from his perspective, and that also includes the flashback montages of the battle scenes. They are explosive and intense, problem is it's far too minimal. The focus is purely on this Halftime show at a Texas football match, to which I just was not interested. Only two moments caught my intrigue. Firstly: "oh my god, is that Chris Tucker? I miss him in films!". Secondly: "no way! Is that Steve Martin!? Please let him say "Blueeee Monkehhh"...please!". The rest of the cast were standard, monotonous and had no real impact. The script was tediously dull. The pacing was extortionately slow. The biggest gripe though? That was not the real Destiny's Child! I feel cheated. Ang Lee can do much better, not sure why he wanted to do this but he was not the right director. Just another post-war drama that struggles to highlight the psychological effects of conflict.
A young soldier returns after the Iraq war lauded as a hero. But is he? Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is not the stereotypical war film but more a study of how war affects everyone at home and on the battlefield. In particular how the realities of war are far different to what those not there are told. This is fairly slow moving and probably lacks a real star performance to carry it through. Saying that I thought Joe Alwyn ( looking a lot like a young Matt Damon)did a pretty good job in the lead role. It's told in flashbacks which work pretty well. This is an intelligent war film but won't appeal to the shoot em up brigade. It raises plenty of questions about crass the war is perceived and portrayed in America. This is an enjoyable film with lots of messages but it doesn't quite hit the mark enough to be labelled a great film.
I don't know what film ever one else was watching, personally I thought it was really bad. Yes i got the subject matter. But there was virtually no action, no story, no empathy, and all that was left was a load of mouthy, overly aggressive Americans with a chip on their shoulders.
This sees a couple of soldiers back on in the good US of A. But they are in between, because they are supposed to go back to the war zone. One in particular is praised as a hero, for what he did on the battlefield. And while he is not highest in rank, he is the one most are concentrating on. The story too, with his struggle and his flashbacks to the day that made him "famous".There are quite a few stars in this, some in really small roles (like Vin Diesel or Kristen Stewart), but what is important, is that everyone involved gives their best and it shows on screen. You may know where this is going, but it still is a very fine watch. A tough movie to watch, with obvious stabs at many thins (media attention, praise but also false heroism and much more) ... it really is like a mirror showing a couple of bad sides of society. Then again, is there a chance to change?